Singapore American School - Creating the Future of Learning: Getting Smart

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Singapore American School - Creating the Future of Learning: Getting Smart
Creating the Future of Learning:
May 2016
                                                                                        Singapore American School

      i    Creating the Future of Learning: Singapore American School   Getting Smart
Singapore American School - Creating the Future of Learning: Getting Smart
Table of Contents

01... Overview: Meet SAS

03... History: A Big School on the Move

04... Vision: A Culture of Excellence,
      Possibility & Care
      06...... Genius Infused Elementary

06... Transformation: High Impact Learning
      from Pre-K to Graduation
      08...... A Homebase in the Middle
      09...... A Catalyst for High School Reinvention
      10...... Relevant Learning Options: Advanced
                Topic Courses
      12...... High Impact Learning
      13...... Global Educators
      14...... Parents

Singapore American School - Creating the Future of Learning: Getting Smart
Overview: Meet SAS

A great school takes a “culture of excellence,
                                                                                  Open Date: 1956
possibility, and extraordinary care,” said Dr. Chip
Kimball, at Singapore American School (SAS).                                      Location: Singapore
“As we traveled the world visiting over 100
                                                                                  Grades Served: Preschool-12
schools in seven countries we found many                                          Faculty Members: 375
schools that had one of these cultures in
place and some schools that had two of
                                                                                  Student/Faculty Ratio: 10.3:1
these cultures in place, but very few schools                                     Students Served: 3,943
                                                                                  Campus Tour
01   Creating the Future of Learning: Singapore American School   Getting Smart
Singapore American School - Creating the Future of Learning: Getting Smart
exhibited excellence, possibility, and extraordinary
care,” said Kimball. “This is how SAS wants to
distinguish itself. What makes us unique.”

Founded 60 years ago, the nonprofit independent
day school located about 30 minutes north
of the bustling central business district. The
school serves nearly 4,000 students on a 36
acre campus. It’s the largest American school
outside the U.S. and the largest single campus
international school in the world.

Despite being a large school, SAS has learned to
be nimble starting with the high school which, in
the last two years, has developed a new graduate
profile, improved teacher collaboration, and
developed several student-centered options.

Students at SAS hold passports from around                                        With a landmass about the size of New York City
fifty countries, but two-thirds of them are U.S.                                  and two-thirds its population, Singapore is the
citizens (government regulations prevent SAS                                      world’s only island state. Located a degree north
from serving locals). While admissions are                                        of the equator, it’s hot and humid every day.
open, the school has a history of producing top
performing graduates that attend the world’s best                                 Last year Singapore celebrated its 50th year of
universities—nearly all graduates attend four year                                independence. The republic is a global hub for
universities, about 80 percent in the U.S.                                        commerce and shipping with a stable and ethical
                                                                                  (but authoritarian) government, no debt and low
The school serves families that live in Singapore                                 tax rates. Three quarters of the population are
long term and some that complete short                                            ethnic Chinese but English is the language of
assignments for multinational corporations.                                       government and education.
The 800 new students welcomed each year
make it a more dynamic environment than most
independent schools.

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Singapore American School - Creating the Future of Learning: Getting Smart
History: A Big School on the Move

Dr. Kimball, arrived in Singapore in 2012 after a                                 Leading strategic programs is Dr. Timothy Stuart,
well regarded term as system head in Microsoft’s                                  a Gates Millennium Scholars. Having grown up in
backyard in Redmond, Washington. Dr. Kimball                                      Europe, Stuart’s journey as an international educator
found four high performing but traditional schools                                started in Turkey and Switzerland. He worked at
sharing the Woodlands campus on the northern                                      Northwest Indian College on the Lummi Reservation
coast of Singapore. The primary, intermediate,                                    while completing his PhD and moved to the Navajo
middle, and high school schools operated                                          Reservation in New Mexico to serve as the high
independently. The board viewed the schools as                                    school principal of Rehoboth Christian School, a
successful but stalled. Test scores were good but                                 Gates Foundation grantee. In 2007 he became
they knew there was an opportunity to improve                                     high school principal at Jakarta Intercultural School
student preparation.                                                              and three years later Stuart took the same post
                                                                                  in Singapore at SAS and kickstarted the change
Before arriving at SAS, Dr. Kimball considered                                    process the year before Kimball arrived.
himself a global thinker—he hung out with Microsoft
executives and frequently spoke nationally about                                  The most important investment turned out to be a
globalization and its impact on students —but he                                  commitment to visiting the best schools in the world.
worried that he hadn’t experienced globalization                                  Over the last four years 85 SAS educators have
extensively first hand. He wanted the opportunity                                 visited more than 100 schools in seven countries.
to immerse in a global setting and see the new                                    In addition to well known U.S. schools like High
economy first hand. The opportunity to help create                                Tech High in San Diego and Avenues in New York
a next generation international school in Singapore                               (and many of our Schools Worth Visiting), the team
arrived at the right time.                                                        found trips to Auckland, New Zealand most relevant
                                                                                  given how coherent and progressive independent
The first two years of the change process included                                Stonefields School and Hobsonville Point Schools
difficult budget and personnel changes. The board                                 were. Kimball said about the trips, “It transformed our
allocated a half of a percent of the $135 million                                 thinking.” Stuart added, “It created what John Kotter
annual budget to innovation. Dr. Kimball created an                               would call of ‘sense of urgency’ for change.”
Office of Innovation, part of a three year research and
development process. The second and third year
of the transformation included significant capacity
building. The 2015-16 school year was a year many
changes were implemented.

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Singapore American School - Creating the Future of Learning: Getting Smart
Vision: A Culture of
                               Excellence, Possibility & Care

“What is becoming increasingly clear as we look                                   In addition to traveling the world, SAS brings top
ahead is that order for students to be competitive in                             talent to campus for a reality check and to reduce
our ever-changing world, they need to be creative,                                isolation. The faculty appreciated Dr. Tony Wagner’s
innovative, flexible in their thinking, and they will need                        “new survival skills” and adapted his 7Cs, among
to mobilize their skills effectively,” explains Dr. Kimball.                      other sources, to create the SAS desired student
                                                                                  learning outcomes; they include content knowledge,
                                                                                  cultural competence, character, collaboration,
                                                                                  communication, critical thinking, and creativity.

04   Creating the Future of Learning: Singapore American School   Getting Smart
Singapore American School - Creating the Future of Learning: Getting Smart
When Wagner visited SAS, he said, “I don’t                                                much more as an integrated K-12 school. A summary
remember ever having been to a school as old                                              of the recently adopted strategic plan is below.
and established as this that is taking the ideas
of educational research and development and                                               With expanded opportunities for student directed
innovation so seriously, so thoughtfully, and in such                                     learning—projects, makerspace, STEM labs, and
courageous and committed ways.”                                                           coding—there has been a noticeable shift from a
                                                                                          focus on content memorization to the development
Visits and visitors helped shape a new “culture of                                        and demonstration of skills and dispositions over the
excellence, possibility, and care.” All three elements                                    last three years at SAS.
are visible in the classrooms of what is now operating

                                      SAS Strategic Plan Summary

         Standards                            High impact                                                Systems              Professional
           -based                           instructional                           Pastoral            supporting              learning
          approach                             practices                              care               learning             communities

       Valid, reliable, fair               Regular inquiry,                       Culture of             With service       Focus on learning,
      assessments target                   experiential and                   extraordinary care    excellence lens, P-12      committed to
      unit outcomes and                 personalized learning                    supported by            departments           improvement,
     growth; evidence is                 focused on desired                    advisory, social         collaborate for     collective answers,
       gathered for each                outcomes supported                   emotional learning          effective and      structures support
     outcome area (7Cs);                  by structures and                  programs, effective    integrated systems to    intervention and
      reporting and other                     practices                        transitions, and        support student          collaboration
        systems support                                                           structures                learning

05     Creating the Future of Learning: Singapore American School   Getting Smart
Singapore American School - Creating the Future of Learning: Getting Smart
Transformation: High Impact
                    Learning from Pre-K to Graduation

The following case study resulted from
a March 2016 school visit and outlines
the evidence of transformation of one
large school from preschool to high

Genius Infused Elementary
After starting his teaching career in
Colorado mountain towns, David
Hoss decided to try a few years in
Singapore. He never left, and 26 years
later he is head of the 2000 student
SAS (P-5) elementary school.

The play-based SAS preschool hub
has 48 students, three teachers and
four aids and in a Reggio Emilia
inspired environment focused on
symbolic language (pre-literacy and

The focus starting in kindergarten is to
make them strong readers, writers, and
mathematicians. The literacy program
is based on Columbia Teachers
College Reading and Writing Project.
Elementary classrooms contain rich

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Singapore American School - Creating the Future of Learning: Getting Smart
leveled reading libraries. Student
developed Anchor posters outline key
writing concepts.

Teachers, with a maximum of
22 students, are supported by
instructional aides. Students receive
instruction in reading, writing, math,
social studies, and science in their

Each day students participate in art,
music or physical education.

World language exposure—either
Mandarin or Spanish—starts in
preschool. K-1 students receive 30
minutes of language instruction per
day, that increases to 45 min in grade
two. Students join novice, intermediate
or advanced language groups and use
a proficiency based approach. There
are 18 Mandarin teachers devoted
to elementary grades. Students use
their iPads to record stories and
teachers provide feedback. This
sophisticated approach is yielding high
levels of fluency as student move into
intermediate grades.

Elementary grade level teams review
a subject each year. This year the fifth
grade team focused on reading and as
a result, saw a big gain in the percentage of students                            topic they want to learn about.” Jonathan, a fifth
reading above grade level. Most grade levels have 13                              grader (pictured above) who recently moved to
classes so when a grade level team gets together, it                              Singapore from Seattle, coded a game in Scratch.
means two dozen people in a large conference room.                                Other students made animated movies, or crafted
A new Genius Hour provides elementary students
with the opportunity to pursue passion projects.                                  The library is an active learning space (above)
Students spend 90 minutes each week on a                                          equipped with a Zspace virtual reality station.

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Singapore American School - Creating the Future of Learning: Getting Smart
Science class (on the right) focuses
on learning through experimentation.
There is a elementary maker room for
recess and lunch time projects.

Each two year grade span (i.e., K-1,
2-3, 4-5) is supported by a librarian
and instructional coach. There is a
technology specialist supporting the 13
classrooms per grade.

A Homebase in the Middle
A new middle school administrative
team is led by principal Lauren
Mehrbach who, after launching her
career as an international teacher in
Venezuela, taught English and was
as a high school administrator at SAS
for a dozen years. After serving as a
principal in Tunisia, Mehrbach returned
to SAS in 2014.

The 950 middle school students are
generous at accepting the many
newcomers that join their ranks each
year. One thing that helps create a safe
and supportive culture is a daily “home
base” advisory meeting. A dozen
students meet with their advisor for 20
minutes each morning. The home base
curriculum focuses on social emotional learning.                                  The middle school is broken into three teams (sides),
Middle grade advisors work in support teams of nine.                              A, B and C to make a big school feel small. Each
                                                                                  is supported by a set of teachers. During the third
“Self actualizing requires a safe place,” said                                    week of school, the entire school in their respective
Mehrbach. “We want to make sure every student is                                  teams take a trip to regional destination (often nearby
known and cared for.”                                                             Malaysia or Indonesia).

08   Creating the Future of Learning: Singapore American School   Getting Smart
A 1:1 laptop program was
implemented in 2013-14. One
benefit is expanded writing across
the curriculum. Eighth graders blog
reflections about performing arts,
social studies, and science.

Last year the middle school grades
adopted a standards-based grading
protocol and record results in the
PowerSchool gradebook. The shift
uncovered a wide variety of how
student work was assessed and how
grades were reported. Assessments
are correlated with Measures of
Academic Progress (MAP) from
NWEA in grades three through
nine. The faculty commitment to collaborating                                     many SAS students, and some took 15 or more AP
in professional learning communities has been                                     classes in their last three years.
key to moving toward consistent expectations,
assessments, and grading.                                                         As part of the research phase of the change process,
                                                                                  the SAS team interviewed 100 college admissions
The Physical Education program focuses on                                         officers and asked about AP. “We heard colleges
movement patterns. Students use video to reflect                                  say that what they were looking for in students was
on their performance. Across the curriculum, SAS is                               evidence of deep intellectual exploration in an area of
developing approaches to digital cataloging work,                                 interest or passion,” said Stuart.
“We want it to be learning journey,” said Mehrbach.
Like many schools, SAS leaders are searching for                                  They heard consistently about a point of diminishing
ways to better mark the student journey without                                   returns—after passing a half a dozen AP tests, it’s
adding more complexity.                                                           obvious that a student has mastered college level
                                                                                  content. Concerns were also expressed about the
                                                                                  historical focus of content over critical thinking in
A Catalyst for                                                                    many AP courses (College Board has redesigned
High School Reinvention                                                           some AP courses to improve readiness). As a result,
In terms of Advanced Placement (AP) courses                                       SAS students will be limited to seven AP classes
offered and passing rates, SAS is one of the top                                  (beginning with the graduating class of 2021) and,
high schools in the world. SAS offers around thirty                               as a replacement, complement, or extension, are
AP courses each year. Most students participate in                                encouraged to take one of 10 Advanced Topic (AT)
the program--86 percent of 2014 graduates took at                                 courses (available by 2019-20) developed by SAS
least one AP exam and most students take multiple                                 faculty in conjunction with professional and university
exams. To boost attractiveness to top colleges,                                   experts (see next page exhibit). Like AP courses,
racking up AP credits became a central focus for                                  students get a GPA bump for taking an AT course.

09   Creating the Future of Learning: Singapore American School   Getting Smart
Relevant Learning Options: Advanced Topic Courses
After defining desired student outcomes, the SAS Center of Innovation developed criteria for Advanced Topic
(AT) courses had three objectives:

    1    Create the opportunity to take collegiate level courses that were project-based and interdisciplinary.

    2    Redefine what it meant to be “smart” at SAS and not be bound by the College board’s definition of intelligence. By filling the
         high level course gap, create the opportunity to challenge themselves at highest level (e.g., offering “AT Exercise Physiology”
         as a part of Physical Education).

    3    Provide the opportunity to go beyond AP courses. Giving students options to go farther and deeper based on their interests
         and passions is a major tenet of the R&D recommendations (e.g., beyond AP Chinese offer Chinese Literature and Philosophy
         course taught in Chinese).

AT Development Criteria include:                                                     Courses developed and in development include:
•       Relevant content, skills, and application                                    Current Courses                   Courses in Development
•       Competency-based rigor (content, skills,                                     AT Performing Arts                AT Entrepreneurship
        and application)                                                             AT Kinesiology                    AT Applied Science/Engineering
•       Desired student learning outcome                                             AT English Writing Seminar        AT Spanish Immersion
        development (21st Century Skills)                                            AT Tropical Ecology               AT Problem Analysis/
•       Depth over breadth                                                           AT Chinese Language/History       Economics
•       Focus on production                                                          AT Data Analytics                 AT Math Application
•       Real world applications                                                      AT Design Thinking*               AT Computer Science
•       External validation (where possible)                                         AT Research and Composition*      AT Literary Studies

There are several self-directed learning options in the                                    Catalyst, a self-directed and personalized senior
high school. AP Research allows students to conduct                                        research project, was piloted last year and is a
and explore a topic and submit and defend a 5,000                                          graduation requirement for the class of 2018.
word paper. Students can earn an AP Capstone                                               Students have used the opportunity to study topics
Diploma by successfully completing AP Seminar, AP                                          such as Kawasaki disease (with a published journal
Research Exams, and four additional AP Exams.                                              article), the intersection of quantified self and the
                                                                                           Internet of Things, analysis of big data sets in
                                                                                           neuroscience, and the psychology of wealth.

10      Creating the Future of Learning: Singapore American School   Getting Smart
Quest is a full year option for seniors starting in
2016-17 that includes a sequence of interdisciplinary
projects. “Quest is our attempt to build the school of
the future, today,” said Stuart. “It is the culmination of
all of our research over the last four years. Ironically,
it is creating a Reggio-inspired learning environment
for grade 12 students,” added Stuart.

High school principal Dr. Darin Fahrney, served as
principal of a large suburban high school outside of
Milwaukee before joining SAS as deputy principal.                                       Watch this video to learn more about the
His doctoral research focused on how to build                                            change process and Catalyst projects.
systems of intervention to ensure that all students
learn at high levels.

Fahrney was attracted to the international perspective
central to the school’s mission and reflected in
academic offerings, service opportunities, and
extracurricular activities. “Our vision is to provide
everyone the opportunity to explore interest and
pursue passions in new and flexible ways,” said
Fahrney. (See 2016-17 course catalog.)

SAS students participate in a week long “Interim
Semester” every year. Experiences beyond the
traditional classroom, with every high school faculty                                     Watch Zane and Jesse’s video about
member and student participating in one of 60 trips                                      their microfinance project addressing a
to 28 countries, focusing on either global studies,                                   fundamental health issue for women in India.
service, or eco adventure. At least one of the four
Interim Semester trips must be devoted to service.
High school students lead 60 service clubs—most
are original to the school, some are chapters of                                  an advisory program, which was the result of 18
international aid organizations. (See leaders of the                              months of planning and capacity building. Every
Executive Service Council below.)                                                 SAS high school student belongs to a small advisory
                                                                                  group, and has an advisor who mentors them, helps
To guide students through their high school years                                 them track their progress, set goals, discuss and
and ensure that students have at least one adult that                             solve learning issues, and build on their capacities to
knows them well, this year the division implemented                               take responsibility for their learning.

11   Creating the Future of Learning: Singapore American School   Getting Smart
High Impact Learning
New Zealander Treena Casey leads the Office
of Learning. Before joining SAS in 2011, Casey
provided curriculum leadership in international
schools in China and Thailand.

Casey’s team provides curriculum leadership and
student support services. Five instructional coaches
and about 50 learning support specialists support
the 375 faculty. A senior member of the team owns
each element of the strategic plan: PLCs, standards-
based approach, high impact instruction, pastoral
care, and systems supporting learning. At the heart
of the strategic plan is the shift from content-focused,
teacher-led instruction to skills-based student-
centered learning.

The transformation included libraries. “We created a
vision centered around a hub concept of information,
innovation and impact on students–a Center of
Innovation,” said Bob Helmer, high school librarian.
“We renovated our newly rethought space and
transformed some areas of the old library footprint
into a design lab, guided study lab, multimedia
studio and makerspace,” added Helmer.

      High Impact Instructional Practices 1.0                                     High Impact Instructional Practices 2.0

      Teachers implement high-impact pedagogical                                  Students shape high-impact learning experiences
      practices that explicitly target the desired student                        that deepen their learning and shift the focus from
      learning outcomes to a deeper learning and shift the                        the teacher to themselves, resulting in the ability
      focus from teacher to student, resulting in actively                        to demonstrate cultural competence and strong
      engaged learners. When students actively pose and                           character while utilizing content knowledge to be
      solve problems, work collaboratively in a community                         critical and creative thinkers as well as effective
      of peers, experience real-world applications of                             collaborators and communicators. Engagement in
      knowledge, and reflect on their learning processes,                         high-impact practices will allow students to take
      learning is deeper and more complex.                                        ownership in their learning, resulting in exceptional
                                                                                  thinkers prepared for their future.

12   Creating the Future of Learning: Singapore American School   Getting Smart
Professional Learning Communities 1.0                                           Professional Learning Communities 2.0

      Teachers actively engage in effective professional                              Students and teachers actively engage in effective
      learning communities whose members work                                         PLCs to achieve common student-learning goals
      interdependently to achieve common student-                                     for which members are mutually accountable.
      learning goals for which members are mutually                                   Students own their own learning process by asking
      accountable. We believe every child has value and                               and answering the four critical PLC questions for
      can learn at high levels. PLCs guarantee a common,                              themselves (see below). Every child has value
      viable curriculum where teams take collective                                   and can learn at high levels. PLCs guarantee a
      responsibility for all students’ learning, and ensure                           common, viable curriculum where teachers and
      that faculty work collaboratively to leverage their                             students take collective responsibility for student
      expertise and analyze evidence of learning to                                   learning, and ensure that faculty and students
      improve their own practice and maximize each                                    work collaboratively to leverage their expertise and
      child’s learning and growth.                                                    analyze evidence of learning to improve their own
                                                                                      instructional and learning strategies and maximize
                                                                                      their learning and growth.

Central to the SAS transformation is the use                                      PLCs have been a critical vehicle for SAS faculty to
of professional learning communities (PLC) as                                     discuss, synthesize, and incorporate innovations
popularized by author Rick DuFour. SAS is a model                                 observed on school visits and discussed in the
PLC school in all divisions. Teachers collaborate                                 R&D phase. The next phase of PLC will encourage
in PLCs to set learning targets, refine academic                                  students ask the questions:
offerings, and develop common assessments. PLCs                                   • What do I want to know and be able to do?
focus on collective learning for all students and                                 • How will I demonstrate that I have learned it?
teachers through cycles of inquiry. PLCs answer the                               • What will I do when I am stuck and I am no
following questions:                                                                  longer learning?
• What is it that we want students to know and do?                                • What will I do when I already know it?
• How will we know when they know and can do it?
• What do we do when students don’t get it?
• What do we do if students have already gotten it?                               Global Educators
                                                                                  About three-quarters of the SAS faculty members
Teachers are currently the ones asking and                                        are from North America. About the same percentage
answering PLC questions. The SAS strategic plan                                   hold master’s or doctorate degrees. International
focuses on building student agency and inviting                                   educators are well paid—a good salary, generous
them to co-curate their own learning—to become                                    health and travel benefits, a housing subsidy, and
part of next generation PLCs.                                                     long vacations. They are able to save a good portion
                                                                                  of their salary.

13   Creating the Future of Learning: Singapore American School   Getting Smart
For younger educators, teaching
internationally creates a new sense
of freedom and an opportunity to
see the world. Once a teacher has
been teaching internationally for a
while, the experience can create an
uneasy sense of what Kimball called
“unrootedness.” For the first few years
many rent out their house assuming
they’ll return. When they don’t, some
sell their primary residence and may
purchase a vacation home to visit
during the long summer break and
a link back to a place to call home.
Tim Stuart said some international
teachers finally become “citizens of
the world,” like his kids who claim to
be from “everywhere and nowhere.”

Admissions Director Mona Stuart
occasionally receives a visit from a
preschool parent seeking the foolproof
path to Harvard. She also deals with
anxious spouses of multinational
executives that unexpectedly land in
Singapore with a child or two and find
themselves in need of a new school.

Parents hire SAS to prepare their son or                                          SAS has a track record of academic success
daughter—at a price of about $25,000 U.S. per                                     that appeals to parents. In addition to keeping
year-- to gain admissions to one of the world’s                                   their academic goalposts relevant, SAS provides
leading universities. While preparing for careers                                 parenting supports and workshops on timely topics
and citizenship may be the broader goal, the                                      such as managing screen time, managing social
prerequisite of a loaded transcript and top test                                  media risks, and college planning.
scores are near term imperative for most parents.
The talented and driven students are often more
competitive than their parents.

14   Creating the Future of Learning: Singapore American School   Getting Smart

School systems quickly create sedimentary layers                                  SAS is charting the path forward for international
of policies and practices that form a legacy which                                schools with a new graduate profile and learning
can be enormously powerful in positive as well                                    experiences designed to prepare young people for
as negative ways--often simultaneously. As an                                     careers and citizenship. The R&D undertaking at high
academically successful school--one of the best AP                                capacity schools like SAS is a critical leadership role
schools in the world-- SAS has sent generations of                                for the sector, particularly during the historical shift
students off to the finest universities in the world.                             from print to digital, from content-centric to skills-
This history of success had, until about five years                               based learning, from teacher-centric instruction to
ago, caused SAS to stall--to operate in ways that                                 learner-centered experiences, and from time bound
were familiar but increasingly less relevant to the                               schedules to competency-based progressions.
idea economy.
                                                                                  In this new sector leadership role, there are 10
Kickstarted by high school innovations five years                                 features worth noting about SAS:
ago, a thoughtful board pushed for a new kind of
superintendent, one familiar with best practices of                               •1   Rigorous preparation: SAS leadership
high performing systems and the new economy.                                           understands the ‘job to be done’ with a
Chip Kimball found an innovation partner in high                                       commitment to continuously reexamining
school principal Tim Stuart. They used school visits                                   how that is defined and measured, “culture of
to inspire a talented but isolated faculty. Exposure                                   excellence.”
to the best schools in the world and a new group of                               •2   Commitment to R&D: A standing innovation
critical friends resulted in updated student learning                                  fund sponsors school visits and pilots
expectations. Professional learning communities                                        projects that powers the school’s forward
created collaboration routines that broke down                                         lean. Professional learning communities help
barriers and hosted tough conversations. New                                           navigate the tension between improvement and
tools created new learning opportunities. There is a                                   innovation.
new spirit at SAS, one that embraces the job to be                                •3   Agency: To boost student ownership and
done but with relevant outcomes, one that values                                       student-directed learning, SAS has introduced
execution and innovation, one that embraces a                                          Reggio-inspired early learning, Genius Hour
culture of possibility.                                                                in elementary, TriTime, STEM Lab and active
                                                                                       science in middle school, Catalyst course and
                                                                                       the Quest program in high school.

15   Creating the Future of Learning: Singapore American School   Getting Smart
•4    Deeper learning: Capping maximum AP                                          •9    Technology integration: Better than 1:1
      courses and introducing more challenging                                           technology access powers anywhere anytime
      interdisciplinary and project-based Advanced                                       learning.
      Topics courses is a bold move signaling a                                    •10   Teacher collaboration: All of this is
      commitment to relevant preparation and depth                                       accomplished by a talented faculty committed
      over breadth.                                                                      to working together in professional learning
•5    Public presentations: students blog, publish                                       communities.
      and present across the curriculum.
•6    Pastoral care: To personalize a large school and                             The new SAS strategy clearly describes learning
      accommodate all the newcomers, SAS uses an                                   2.0. The blueprint of site visits and teacher
      advisory program to make sure every student is                               collaboration is a formula that any school can follow
      known and cared for.                                                         to create their own future. School visits proved
•7    Ethic of service: SAS encourages student                                     transformational for the SAS faculty. A culture of
      leadership when it comes to community service                                excellence, possibility and care makes SAS an
      and supports a variety of ways for students to                               inspiring school worth visiting.
      make a difference.
•8    Global competency: A commitment to dual
      language fluency starts in preschool. Daily
      language exposure is complemented by an
      international focus across the curriculum.

 16   Creating the Future of Learning: Singapore American School   Getting Smart
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